taking action ON A PLAN
FELLOWS FROM THE EAST-WEST CENTER IMPLEMENT CLIMATE AND PEACE ACTION PLANS AT HOME
The case studies below are a result of the Climate and Peace Intensive facilitated by ICP for the Asia-Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) at the East-West Center in 2018. Inspired by the workshop content, these three fellows traveled back home and built projects that incorporated climate resilience and peacebuilding into their communities. Below are their powerful and unique projects.
“Effective peace-building skills are essential on every level, from the community to the individual. Climate change affects the culture and wellbeing of people at the national and international level and is no longer an individual’s concern. It has become an imperative issue for all global citizens.”
After completing the Institute for Climate and Peace (ICP) Intensive at the East-West Center, Sangwon Hwang began to implement a project exploring how interfaith leaders, citizens and young people can work together towards peace on the Korean peninsula. The goal of her initiative is to contribute to the advancement of global interfaith dialogue for the purpose of implementing a realistic action plan to address the challenges of the environment and peace-building on the Korean Peninsula. Sangwon and her team’s work has culminated in the first global interfaith dialogue to deal with the environment and the unification of Korea with diverse leadership. She hopes that consistent dialogue can turn a negative situation into a positive one and ultimately create a future of permanent security for all. Upon Sangwon’s invitation, the Institute for Climate and Peace participated in the Global Interfaith Dialogue Summit on the Environment, the Unification of Korea, and Peacebuilding held in Seoul in July 2019.
“Agriculture is our prime economy and if global warming and climate change inflicts serious harm to it, our economy will suffer individually and as a nation.”
Naveed Anwar has worked on several different social and political issues for the past few years in the Pakistan media and finds that the farmer community is the most neglected segment of Pakistani society. Naveed is working on a project that will sound a wake-up call to farmers and concerned state authorities across the country. He is critically concerned with “trying to bridge the gap between policy-makers, victims, and change agents.” The project he is working on will bring journalists, farmers and environmentalists/experts under one umbrella to discuss issues of climate-stressed agriculture, mitigation, and existing constraints on various adaptation strategies. By bringing national stakeholders together to discuss the impacts of climate change on livelihoods, Naveed hopes that they will learn about new cultivation techniques, different crop varieties, tree planting, and drip irrigation methods to develop the agricultural solutions necessary to addressing Pakistan’s climate crisis.
“Through my awareness campaign, I desire to empower workers, see some behavioral change in them by taking preventative action towards climate change, and see healthcare and higher education for their children so that they can further empower their children and their community.”
Sumita developed an initiative for factory workers in India’s garment industry through a campaign on socio-environmental awareness. She designed and implemented the campaign with the aim to minimize health and environmental impacts for garment factory workers. Her campaign involves a program to educate garment workers on good healthcare and good environmental practices in the workplace, and aims to address the impacts of rapidly increasing local temperatures. Higher heat days cause hazardous workplace environments for workers. Sumita’s experience indicates that excessive workplace heat is a well-known occupational health hazard resulting in high body temperatures or dehydration. Workers can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke and in extreme cases, death. In addition to this, Sumita notes that peak business seasons can cause workers to take on heavy workloads, internal conflicts, work stress creating injuries, clinical health risks and productivity losses. She plans to relieve some of these workplace stressors through a greater awareness of the impacts a hazardous workplace environment can have on health.